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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The three isozymes of 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase from Escherichia coli were overproduced, purified, and characterized with respect to their requirement for metal cofactor. The isolated isozymes contained 0.2-0.3 mol of iron/mol of enzyme monomer, variable amounts of zinc, and traces of copper. Enzymatic activity of the native enzymes was stimulated 3-4-fold by the addition of Fe2+ ions to the reaction mixture and was eliminated by treatment of the enzymes with EDTA. The chelated enzymes were reactivated by a variety of divalent metal ions, including Ca2+, Cd2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. The specific activities of the reactivated enzymes varied widely with the different metals as follows: Mn2+ greater than Cd2+, Fe2+ greater than Co2+ greater than Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+ much greater than Ca2+. Steady state kinetic analysis of the Mn2+, Fe2+, Co2+, and Zn2+ forms of the phenylalanine-sensitive isozyme (DAHPS(Phe)) revealed that metal variation significantly affected the apparent affinity for the substrate, erythrose 4-phosphate, but not for the second substrate, phosphoenolpyruvate, or for the feedback inhibitor, L-phenylalanine. The tetrameric DAHPS(Phe) exhibited positive homotropic cooperativity with respect to erythrose 4-phosphate, phophoenolpyruvate, and phenylalanine in the presence of all metals tested.

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